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Multi-channel customer proposition impacts on HR recruitment methods

Retail recruitment will look radically different in the near future as companies adopt a multi-channel approach to attracting people into their organisations, which is impacting the established methods. By Glynn Davis


Multi-channel customer proposition impacts on HR recruitment methods

Ahead of taking part in a panel discussion at the 5th Retail Bulletin HR Summit in London on 8 October, Paula Harvey, senior talent consultant at Kallidus, suggests things will look much altered in five-to-six years’ time as more activity moves online and this makes much of the agency model redundant. 

“The agency market will not exist then because much of it will be done virtually. The big companies are already doing this,” she says, adding that part of this move is the increased use of social media to attract applicants.

Although she says retailers are not yet at the stage of advertising for jobs on social media platforms, the likes of Facebook is now regularly used for “checking people out”.

“Retailers use it as a point of reference. For graduate recruitment it is a good indicator of what people are about. And LinkedIn is fantastic. It’s doing a lot of traditional headhunting whereby employers can search on specific skills,” says Harvey.

She recommends retailers use such platforms to make their businesses look as attractive as possible to the sort of employees that they are looking to bring into their organisations. “The key is to look attractive to them. Be clear about what your business is. It’s classic marketing. Work out what sort of people are needed for your business and then focus on what the brand looks like to them,” says Harvey.

For the “bright young things” she says this might involve a dialogue through social media whereas for experienced management candidates it might involve more traditional headhunting activities. This is indicative of the multi-channel approach that is now needed to cover all bases and deal with the candidates in the channel of their preference.

“Increasingly people are becoming more multi-channel and the recruitment market is following this. We want to give people choices,” says Harvey, who believes the way the retail industry is adapting to the multi-channel market with its shoppers is helping it in the way it is using new ways to touch potential employees.

"People expect to be able to touch retailers in multiple ways when they shop and so they expect this to also be the case when they deal with these businesses as a potential candidate.

“Multi-channel is impacting retail more than other industries and it is also more sophisticated with customer insight and in understanding the marketplace than manufacturers and other service industries,” she suggests.

To convey a progressive attitude to using online channels and social media, and to make their proposition look very attractive to potential employees, is very important to retailers because Harvey says that schools’ use of technology and the increased use of consumer electronics at home can too often highlight that the world of work is lagging behind in adopting the latest devices and technologies. 

Click here to see further information and to register for the Retail Bulletin HR Summit which will be held in London on 8 October 2013. 

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